Listening Time Clears Up My Clouded Thinking

I was having a very busy week and was already somewhat overwhelmed with all that had to get done. I had just watched a disturbing segment of a video about language experiments done on children in an orphanage and was about to make dinner for my family and head out to teach a class. The video had upset me but I had all that stuff to do before I went out to teach, so off I went. On with the show!

I soon noticed I could barely think. I kept going into a room and forgetting why I was there, couldn’t remember what I was doing. It was like my brain had literally shut down—nothing could go in and nothing could go out. My sister-in-law called with important information about my nephew’s upcoming wedding and I could hear her talking but it was not making sense. I knew something was way off but couldn’t stop to do anything about it.

I went on autopilot and somehow got my family fed and got in the car to go teach. I thought, “How am I going to pull this off? I’m a wreck.” I quickly realized that I needed some listening time. I called a listening partner and she agreed to exchange ten minutes. I spent the first three minutes talking about how overwhelmed I was and what a busy week it had been, thinking that that was the problem.

And then it hit me. I mentioned the language experiments done on those orphans and started wailing. I had thought when I heard it, “I should take some time on that,” but it wasn’t convenient at that moment. I cried hard about those poor children for a few more minutes and quickly felt much clearer. I realized that hearing that on the video was when I stopped being able to function. I’d been able to manage the stress until that one thing tipped the scales, and that just a few minutes of good attention made it possible for me to move on again. I was able to go teach and the class went smoothly.

Amazing how this process works!

Kirsten Nottleson

-Join Certified Instructor Kirsten Nottleson in her Building Emotional Understanding course. Starts March 27. Register now.

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